15 Years of Canterbury Downtown!

This past Sunday, we celebrated our 15th anniversary of Canterbury Downtown!! This has been my third year with Canterbury Downtown—I first began attending services when I was a freshman. Through some stroke of good luck, my pastor at my church in Maryland is good friends with Chaplain Mary Cat, so she helped me get in contact with her about Canterbury. To say Canterbury Downtown has been a blessing would be a large understatement—attending school in New York City and making the transition from a small town was both exciting and overwhelming. Being a member of Canterbury has helped me create a loving home and community within a city full of millions of people. I look forward to every Sunday because it’s another week that I can share a meal and conversation with friends from different majors, different schools, and different years. Through Canterbury, I’ve had so many opportunities that I would not have participated in otherwise like getting to go to church at the Columbia chapel with Canterbury Uptown, attending the Diocesan Convention in November, joining the Young Adult Network, and my favorite, learning how to knit! With Canterbury, I’ve met some of my closest friends and have been able to introduce friends from outside of church to our community. I’m so thankful that although I only have one year left, that the connections and friendships I’ve made through Canterbury will last a lifetime!

Maria Pellicier, NYU ‘20

Recipe Box of Healing Power

In addition to giving up social media, one of my Lenten disciplines has been to read devotionals from the app—Our Bible, each day. Our Bible has progressive and LGBTQ+ affirming devotionals that last anywhere from 4-11 days and are often themed. One of the devotionals I finished reading over spring break was titled, “Come Have Breakfast: Healing from Burnout and Loving Yourself”, by Micky ScottBey Jones. This 11 day devotional centered on John 21:1-25 and included both prayers and calls to action for ways that we can heal from stress and burnout. One of the calls to action that I found the most intriguing was an invitation to create a Recipe Box of Healing Power, as written about by Bell Hooks. Some of the examples for different recipes included: A Recipe to Deal with Loneliness, Confusion, Affirmations, and many others. Ideas for ingredients included: Meditation, Put on a Song and Dance, Go to Bed Early, Look at Pictures of Loved Ones, and others. As students, we all deal with frustration, weariness, confusion and loneliness, so what would it look like if we came prepared for when these feelings come around again? I’ve been working on coming up with my own recipe book for which ways I can work through stress, loneliness and confusion! What I loved most about this activity is that it is so customizable, each person can decide what issues they feel are most prevalent to them and what “ingredients” are the most useful or the most needed. I would invite everyone both to read this devotional (Our Bible App is free!!) and to come up with their own recipe book, or even just one recipe that you feel you could really use during your days.

Lenten Devotional for Jeremiah 17: 5-10

"Thus says the Lord:

Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals

and make mere flesh their strength, 

whose hearts turn away from the Lord.

They shall be like a shrub in the desert,

and shall not see when relief comes.

They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,

in an uninhabited salt land.

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,

whose trust is the Lord.

They shall be like a tree planted by water,

sending out its roots by the stream.

It shall not fear when heat comes,

and its leaves shall stay green;

in the year of drought it is not anxious,

and it does not cease to bear fruit.

The heart is devious above all else;

it is perverse-- 

who can understand it?

I the Lord test the mind

and search the heart,

to give to all according to their ways,

according to the fruit of their doings."

~Jeremiah 17:5-10

Recently, I was at a job interview where the interviewer asked, “What was a goal that you expected or assumed would happen but did not? What did you do afterward?”. This was the first time I had thought about a missed opportunity as a question of “what else was going on”? Although I had missed the opportunity, I was able to devote more time to my classes and became involved with a community service organization. We often hear the saying, “As one door closes another one opens”, but do I think about the door that is opening? Or the door that is closing? In this scripture passage, those who trust in the Lord are compared to a tree—one with deep roots who does not cease to bear fruit even during the year of drought. While it is easy for me to list out the “have nots” in my life, the “haves” are much more meaningful; the friend made during a stressful time or the gained courage and confidence to stand up during a time of trial. Looking back on all the times I was struggling with a personal or professional issue, there have always been silver linings that I can be thankful for. During our years of drought, what fruit are we producing?

Maria Pellicier, NYU’20

Spring is in the Air!

Spring is in the air—we can feel it with the changing of the clocks, the warmer temperatures and the blooming of plants. I recently read the poem “Spring”, by Mary Oliver which goes:

“And here is the serpent again,/ dragging himself out from his nest of darkness,/ his cave under the black rocks,/ his winter-death./ He slides over the pine needles./ He loops around the bunches of rising grass,/ looking for the sun.

Well, who doesn’t want the sun after the long winter?/ I step aside,/ he feels the air with his soft tongue,/ around the bones of his body he moves like oil,

Downhill he goes/ toward the black mirrors of the pond./ Last night it was still so cold/ I woke and went out to stand in the yard,/ and there was no moon.

So I just stood there, inside the jaw of nothing./ An owl cried in the distance,/ I thought of Jesus, how he/ crouched in the dark for two nights,/ then floated back above the horizon.

There are so many stories/ more beautiful than answers./ I follow the snake down to the pond,

Thick and musky he is/ as circular as hope.”

Each time spring comes around, I experience it as a child, with wonder and awe at the blossoming of new life, the hope of new creation, and the promise to experience it all over again next year.

Maria, NYU’20